Author Topic: Apricots  (Read 1167 times)

Offline euge

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Apricots
« on: August 11, 2011, 08:37:53 PM »
Finally found some nice fresh apricots at $4/lb. Bought 2 pounds to make the Aprikolsch. Think that is enough for 5 gallons? Plans are to let them ripen for a day or so, chop and freeze. Then drop them into a chilled keg in a hop-bag for 2-3 weeks. Should I serve with the bag in or is it better removed?

My thought is to serve on the fruit.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 10:51:19 PM »
I'm not sure that will be enough for 5 gallons euge, they are pretty mild.  Can you rack part of the beer onto the fruit for a while and see how it tastes?  You could always blend it to taste with the non-apricoted beer.
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Offline euge

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 11:37:56 PM »
So what would be appropriate for 5 gallons?

What about serving with the fruit in the keg? I would think that it would intensify flavors a bit. That being said I do have 4 liters leftover in PET bottles and another 2 or so gallons in a 2.5 cornie left over after the two glasses I've had out of it tonight. 
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Offline punatic

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 11:49:49 PM »
I cannot speak to an apricot beer from Cologne, but I have made a few melomels with apricots.  Intially I tried using peaches, but they were pretty disappointing.  Very little fruit character came through in the finished beverage.  However, apricots are peaches with a Masters degree and work pretty well.

For five gallons I used 10 lbs of apricots, sliced in half, pits removed, frozen, thawed, smashed and added when the specific gravity was reduced by half.  I ferment melomels in a covered open fermenter (read: a 10 gallon SS stockpot with the lid on).  When the fermentation is just short of completion I scoop the must out of the open fermenter using a 1 liter pyrex measuring cup that has been sanitized by boiling, and pour it through a SS strainer (also boil sanitized) resting in a sanitzed plastic funnel, into a five gallon glass carboy.  By transfering while there is active fermentation oxidation is reduced.

Adding the fruit later in the fermentation has several purposes:  less of the volatile flavor/aroma components are blown out with the CO2, the lower pH, higher alcohol and higher yeast count act to inhibit wild microbe growth.

Freezing the fruit helps rupture the apricot cell walls, releasing much more juice.

I do realize that we are talking about $40 worth of apricots at your price point.  I have a friend with apricot trees, so my cost was a share of the finished beverage.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2011, 04:01:33 AM »
I don't mean to derail the thread but I wanted to say something in case this thread was ever discovered by people searching the archives before posting: NEVER EVER EVER USE APRICOT EXTRACT. I tried that stuff for a Magic Hat #9 clone (which sounds like it would work for you euge - basically apricot wheat beer, not too bad) and it tasted like the cough syrup.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2011, 07:03:06 AM »
Good luck Euge

Just a side note, I just did 1 gal of wheat beer and added a 14 oz can of pureed apricots to the secondary.  I was very surprised at how bitter the end result was.  The apricot flavour wasn't that apparent (overpowered by bitter) but the aroma was.  I'm hoping this new bitterness mellows in the bottle.  

I should add that we already drank the other 4 gals of the base wheat and it was awesome so the bitterness is definitely from the apricot addition.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 07:10:13 AM by gmac »

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 12:19:39 PM »
I'm going to have to disagree with Phil on the use of Apricot extract.  I've made a half dozen batches of apricot wheat beer that have been quite good and have even advanced to the NHC second round with one.  All used the apricot extract. 

There are critical things that must be attained for the beer to work.  First of all, the alkalinity of the water must be reduced to appropriate levels to coincide with the light color and nature of the American wheat beer base.  A crisp and tart base beer is required for starters.

The second thing is to taste test the amount of flavor extract to use in the finished beer.  Don't go and add 4 oz of extract to 5 gallons just because the instructions said so or because that is the amount you had so you dumped it all in.  Some extracts are quite flavorful and can quickly overwhelm the flavor and balance of the beer.   

Flavored extracts including apricot can make decent beers.  I have noticed that sometimes the extracts can age and not provide very nice flavors if they are too old.  Unfortunately these extracts may sit on a retailer's shelf for some time, so they may not always be fresh.  I've noticed that apricot extract will darken as it ages.  If its not light to medium orange, it may be a little too old.  Taste it in your beer sample before adding a slug to the batch.  You may have to forget the fruit if it cannot be formulated to provide a palatable end product.
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Offline euge

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2011, 07:03:01 PM »
Thanks Mark. The pH info helps alot. I kept the beer low in hop bitterness so it would carry the fruit better.

Just picked up a couple cans of Kern's apricot nectar.



Playing with it and 2-3 oz in 10-12 oz of kolsch is right there in the ballpark flavor-wise. A little sweet.


Just a side note, I just did 1 gal of wheat beer and added a 14 oz can of pureed apricots to the secondary.  I was very surprised at how bitter the end result was.  The apricot flavour wasn't that apparent (overpowered by bitter) but the aroma was.  I'm hoping this new bitterness mellows in the bottle. 

I should add that we already drank the other 4 gals of the base wheat and it was awesome so the bitterness is definitely from the apricot addition.


Was it the apricots with the skin still on? I can get those in heavy syrup. That bitterness- is it similar to dried apricot bitterness?

However, apricots are peaches with a Masters degree and work pretty well.

 ;D
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Offline gmac

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2011, 07:46:17 PM »

Was it the apricots with the skin still on? I can get those in heavy syrup. That bitterness- is it similar to dried apricot bitterness?


I don't think there were skins on them. If anything, I'd say it was like bitterness from the pits although I know there weren't any pits in them.  I'm sure your fresh ones will be great. 

Offline euge

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2011, 10:17:09 PM »
So I'm also thinking about the Kern's nectar. Figure 2 cans per gallon so that would be 4 gallons of beer and eight 12 oz cans of juice would be shy of 5 gallons but a little extra head-space never hurts.

Chilled I don't expect much fermentation but I'd like to store kegs warmer. Would 1 campden tablet dissolved in some water added to the mix stun the yeast enough for 5 gallons?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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